Friday, 6 February 2009

Phi Phi Island

I really wanted to be principled here. A long time ago I remember reading about the impact of filming The Beach in Thailand, a beautiful island torn upside down to make room for cameras, lights, generators, and to turn a naturally beautiful beach into a natural looking wonder. I was all ready to follow it up with the final insult, the tourists who now come trudging through to see the beach where Leo ran amock (or am I misremembering?), and just maybe they'll find a lock of his hair or a broken flip flop inscribed with his name, hidden where the less observant searchers missed it.

All of that is probably pretty accurate mind you. Maya beach, stunningly - shockingly - set away in an enormous natural harbour of high rock faces fluffed with greenery on all sides, loses the impact it had on screen in the face of packed tour boats and smaller motor boats. It's now a box to tick, on every Thai traveller's radar. Still, when there's so much beauty around, it's hard to care less.

From Maya the boat tour (I'm no less guilty of these crimes than anyone else) shows us a small harbour where small, safe sharks swim alongside swordfish and other wonders of the sea. Next Bamboo Island, around which the sea is a perfect sapphire crystal lit up by showers of fish striped yellow and black, silver or violent purple. Shooting past small islands, shining beaches or fertile rocky outcrops, we reach a cove where monkeys will come right up to you, sitting on sand as soft as flour, hoping to steal your food or a sip of your drink.

The reason I'm in Phi Phi, an island I'd never heard of until a week ago and whose beauty leaves me a little lightheaded, is because of Danny Wallace, author of Yes Man. His memoir of a year of positive thinking saw him wind up in amazing and surprising places, and inspired others to do the same. One guy he spoke to was inspired enough to end up travelling the world and sends him a postcard from this very island. It's a great book, and chimes with my own experience - the unbelievable chain of events that sprang up in Hong Kong purely through positivity and saying yes to new experiences. If anyone's suffering from Winter blues right now, I'd say forget the movie (Hollywood adaptation with Jim Carrey - yawn) and pick this one up!

Tomorrow Langkawi Island, Malaysia. Till then...


previously.bitten said...

I've never been one for beaches, and the like - but that sounds like a fantastic place.

Rajasthan Tours Operator said...

really a great traveling information i will go there